perennial plants

Perennial plants are herbaceous plants which die back to the ground during winter and grow back in spring. Some can be left undisturbed for years while others need to be divided every few years to maintain their vigour. You can find a perennial plant for any situation, whether it's a stone wall or a shady corner. Some are grown for their flower displays, others for their beautiful foliage. Evergreen perennials and half-shrubs are included in this category.

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Edraianthus
 

The genus Edraianthus belongs to the bellflower family, Campanulaceae. It's a small genus of similar species native to the Balkan peninsula. They are  mound forming alpines with threadlike foliage and bell shaped flowers on short flower stalks. They prefer to grow in crevices between rocks in full sun and dislike wet winter conditions. 

 

Epimedium
 

Epimedium is a small genus in the family Berberidaceae. Most species are native to China. They are woodland plants that prefer fertile, moist soil in shade. Young leaves are often colorful and just as decorative as the flowers.  

Eranthis - Winter aconite
 

As the name implies, Eranthis is among the first plants to flower in spring. It is a small genus of 8 species in the buttercup family,  Ranunculaceae, native to S-Europe and east to Japan. They are low growing woodland plants that take advantage of the spring sunlight before the trees leaf out, to bloom their white or yellow flowers. The leaves appear after flowering and fade when the forest has become shaded.  

 

Erigeron - Fleabane
 

Erigeron, is a fairly large genus of around 150 species in the aster family, Asteraceae. The genus has a global distribution, with the greatest density in N-America. They grow mainly in alpine habitats or grasslands and are often drought tolerant. 

 

Erodium - Stork's bills
 

Erodium is a genus in the family Geraniaceae. The species grown in Iceland are native to southern Europe and are fairly tender. They need well-drained soil and full sun and are best suited to rock gardens. 

 

Eryngium - Eryngos
 

Eryngium is a fairly large genus in the family Apiaceae, with around 250 species. They have a wide distribution, mainly centered in S-America. The inflorescence lasts a long time and is well suited for dry flower arrangements. They are suited to the perennial border and like to be undisturbed as they have a deep root system. New plants can grow from root segments which is an easy way of propagation.

 

Erythronium
 

Erythronium, is a genus of spring flowering plants in the lily family, Liliaceae, closely related to tulips, which grow in meadows and wooded areas in temperate regions of Eurasia and N-America. 

 

Euphorbia - Spurges
 

Euphorbia is a very large and diverse genus in the family Euphorbiaceae, with close to 2000 species. Their common features is a toxic, milky white sap and small, insignificant flowers surrounded by bright coloured modified leaves The best known member of the genus is without doubt the poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima.

 

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Filipendula
 

Flipendula is a genus of 12 species in the rose family, Rosaceae, distibuted around temperate regions in the northern hemisphere. They have finely divided leaves and large flower umbels of tiny white or pink flowers. They grow in moist soil, often along streams and lakes.

 

 

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Galium
 

Galium is a large genus in the family Rubiaceae, with over 600 species. Most are not sought after garden plants, but there are some exceptions. Four species are native to Iceland. 

 

Gentiana - Gentians

Gentiana is a large genus of around 400 species in the family Gentianaceae. It's distribution is alpine and temperate regions in Europe, Asia and America. The signature feature of the genus are exceptionally blue, trumpet shaped flowers. 

 

Geum - Avens
 

Geum is a genus in the rose family, Rosaceae, closely related to Potentilla, but unlike them the avens flower for a long time. They grow wild in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and New Zealand. Most prefer full sun, but don't have any special soil requirements. 

 

Gillenia
 

Gillenia is a genus in the rose family, Rosaceae. of only two species. Both are woodland plants native to the east coast of N-America, where they grow in dry woodlands. They prefer slightly acidic soil. 

 

Gypsophila - Baby's breath

Gypsophila is a genus in the family Caryophyllaceae,  with a wide distribution around Eurasia, Africa and Oceania, with the greatest number of species in Turkey. They have a deep root system and dislike being disturbed. They grow best in deep, well drained soil in full sun.

 

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Hedysarum

Hedysarum is a genus of around 300 species in the family Fabaceae, native to Eurasia, N-Africa and N-America. með heimkynni í Evrasíu, N-Afríu og N-Ameríku. They need deep, fertile soil as they are deep rooted and dislike being disturbed.  

Helleborus - Hellebores
 

Helleborus is a genus of around 20 species in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to Eurasia, the majority on the Balkan peninsula. They are evergreen plants that thrive in fertile, fairly alkaline soil in semi shade. 

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Hemerocallis - Daylilies
 

Hemerocallis, is a genus of 19 species, formerly in the lily family, Liliaceae,  but have recently been moved to the family Asphodelaceae. Daylilies are native to Eurasia, the majority to E-Asia. They are popular garden plants and there are over 60.000 registered cultivars. The name of the genus is derived from the fact that each flower rarely lasts longer than one day.

Hepatica
 

Hepatica is a small genus in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Asia and N-America. They are evergreen, spring-flowering, woodland plants which thrive best in chalky soil and some shade.

 

Hesperis

Hesperis is a genus of 24 species in the family Brassicaceae, mainly native to the eastern Mediterranean. Only one plant is common in gardens. 

 

Heuchera - Coral bells

Heuchera is a genus of 30 species in the family Saxifragaceae, all native to N-America.  Their common features are clumps of leaves which are often variegated or coloured and spikes of small, bell shaped flowers. Many cultivars are grown in gardens. 

 

Heuchera - Coral bells

Heuchera is a genus of 30 species in the family Saxifragaceae, all native to N-America.  Their common features are clumps of leaves which are often variegated or coloured and spikes of small, bell shaped flowers. Many cultivars are grown in gardens. 

 

Hieracium - Hawkweed
 

Hieracium, is a large genus in the aster family, Asteraceae, that recently has been split into two genera , Hieracium and Pilosella. The differentiating factor is that the species now classified as Pilosella  have smooth leaves and spread with runners. Species still classified as Hieracium can form seeds asexually, so the number of species isn't clear. They grow in dry grasslands in full sun. 

 

Hornungia - Snæbreiður
 

Hornungia, is a small genus of three species native to mountain regions of Eurasia. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and was formerly named  Pritzelago and before that Hutchinsia , both of which are accepted synonyms. 

 

Hosta
 

Hosta is a genus of shade tolerant plants in the family Asparagaceae which are mainly grown for their varied foliage colour. They are native to NE-Asia, most species grown in gardens originate from Japan. 

 

Hypericum - St. John's wort
 

Hypericum is a large genus of around 490 species in the family Hypericaceae, with a fairly global distribution. The genus includes perennials, shrubs and small trees, all with yellow flowers with prominent stamens.  

 

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Iberis - Candy tufts
 

Iberis is a genus of around 50 species in the Brassicaceae, most of which are native to regions around the Mediterranean. Those species that can be grown here in Iceland are well suited to rock gardens as they need very sharp drainage and full sun.  

 

Iliamna - Wild hollyhocks
 

Iliamna is a genus of 7 similar species all native to N-America. The genus seems to be named after Iliamna lake in Alaska, although none of it's species grow in Alaska. The genus belongs to the mallow family, Malvaceaea and like many species of that family, they are tall, bushy plants with tall spikes of flowers which resemble hollyhocks.

 

Incarvillea
 

Incarvillea is a small genus of around 16 species in the family Bignoniaceae. Unlike most other species of that family, the members of this genus are native to the Himalayas and Tibet. 

 

Inula
 

Inula is a fairly large genus of around 90 species in the aster family, Asteraceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. They are very varied in size, but the flowers are distinctive with very many, narrow ray-florets.

 

Iris
 

Iris is a large genus of close to 300 species in the iris family, Iridaceae. The word iris is from Greek and means rainbow, which refers to the colourful flowers of species in the genus. Nearly all species are native to temperate regions in the northern hemisphere where they grow in varied habitats, from dry alpine conditions, to meadows and marshes. 

 

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Jasione
 

Jasione, is a small genus in the bellflower family, Campanulaceae, native to Europe. The majority of species are annual or biennial. 

 

 

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Knautia
 

Knautia is a genus of 9 species in the family, Capryfoliaceae. One species is native to iceland (*). 

 

 

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